Here at Terrence Higgins Trust we’ve got a lot of experience of handling confidential information about HIV and we’ve been operating a free HIV postal testing service since these kinds of tests began. We safeguard your privacy and ensure that your data is looked after with the utmost care.
We are committed to protecting your privacy and we have put measures in place to make sure your personal information is kept securely and is only accessed by those who need it to do their job.
The information we collect
In offering this service we may collect and process the following data about you:
- Details of your visits to our website and the resources that you access, including, but not limited to, traffic data, location data, web-blogs and other communication data.
- Information that you provide by filling in the online request form for a HIV postal testing kit.
- Information provided to us when you communicate with us for any reason.
To request a free HIV postal testing kit, you will be asked a number of questions, including some personal questions. The information is held on our secure servers and all personal data is encrypted in transmission. You will return your completed test to the our partner laboratory (TDL) for processing.
Terrence Higgins Trust and TDL adhere to strict privacy guidelines in order to protect your data, and all information will be treated in strict confidence.
Your HIV postal testing kit will be posted to the address that you specify in a plain envelope by standard mail and you will be provided with a pre-paid envelope to return your sample to the laboratory through standard mail. Please ensure that the address you provide is suitable as we cannot accept responsibility for any items opened by anyone other than the person it is addressed to.
Please be aware that by using the postal testing service you give us permission to send you a follow-up survey to help us improve the service whether or not you opt-in to further communications from us.
Please be advised that we never reveal information about identifiable individuals to other parties unless legally required to do so, for example to comply with the law, or a court order or where there is a clear safety risk to you or to someone else. If this is the case we will always try to inform you.
We may use the Textanywhere service to text information to you regarding your test and your result. We may also, with your consent, text you in the future to remind you to get tested again or to inform you of other Terrence Higgins Trust services.
Textanywhere will only collect information necessary to provide the Textanywhere service. This includes name and contact information for clients, for example mobile phone numbers.
Textanywhere will hold your personal information on their systems for as long as is necessary for the service you have signed-up. This time frame will be for a period of up to two years. After this period, they will continue to hold data for as long as it is required for tax and recording purposes. After the cancellation of any account, they will not use the data for any business or marketing purpose other than for tax and recording purposes.
Storing your personal data
We will take all reasonable steps to make sure that your data is treated securely and in agreement with this Privacy Statement. Data that is provided to us is stored on our secure servers in the UK.
The transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure and therefore we cannot guarantee the security of data sent to us electronically and transmission of such data is therefore entirely at your own risk. If you request a testing kit and do not return a completed test to us we will keep your data for one year. If you complete and return a test to us we will hold your data for the required time for the retention of electronic patient records.
To demonstrate our service is working we need to collect evaluation data from users, and we greatly appreciate your co-operation in this. We will always follow best practice by making data anonymous where possible, only sharing information on a “need to know” basis and fully involving you in all decisions to share identifiable data. It is a prerequisite for participation in the HIV postal testing service that evaluation data is collected so that we can effectively run the service.
If you choose to access other services provided by Terrence Higgins Trust, your details may be shared with other departments where there is a need to do so. Where this is the case you will have agreed to this as part of the service being offered (e.g. counselling, welfare advice, etc). You have the right to prevent this but it may affect the services that we are able to offer you.
If an HIV test comes back positive then we will advise you of the options for receiving treatment and care and can refer you to a sexual health clinic of your choice in order to access confirmatory tests and support. This will only be done with your consent.
Sharing without consent
We will only share your data without your consent if we are legally required to do so, for example to comply with the law, or a court order or where there is a clear safety risk to you or to someone else. If this is the case we will always try to inform you.
For further information please see the Terrence Higgins Trust full Privacy Statement or contact us:
Terrence Higgins Trust
314-320 Gray’s Inn Road
London WC1X 8DP
0845 1221 200
The Information Commissioner
If you are not happy with the way that we have handled your request or to find out more about your rights around the use of your personal information you can also contact the Information Commissioner’s Office at:
The Information Commissioner
Cheshire SK9 5AF